Natural ways to boost testosterone
#1
This thread can separate a bit the discussions being held in the TRT thread, where steroid use is being discussed. Here the focus is on all other methods that might affect testosterone.

I did an online course on natural ways to boost testosterone on Udemy (link: https://www.udemy.com/become-a-superhuma...earn/v4/). I'd say it was interesting and definitely worth my money (it was like 12$). I will post my notes here, but people that are really interested can still follow the course as well for the extra info and the access to all the studies and learning materials that back up the claims made (or just to support the author). Much other stuff to be found in those documents as well. I hope the notes are a bit clear.

1. Diet

-Healthy amount of protein and fats
-Fats: saturated and monosaturated fats are great (avocados, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, coconut oil), no polyunsaturated fats and trans fats (canola oil and processed foods). 40% from healthy fat sources is recommended.
-Protein: 0.8 gr per kg bodyweight, if more, benefits diminish and diets very high in protein can even damage testosterone. 30% protein is ideal in a diet.
-26%-36% decrease of test in diets without animal protein, 10% decrease in free testosterone when replacing meat with tofu. Eggs and fish are excellent sources as well.
-Grass-fed meat is better and healthier, 2 to 4 times higher ratio of anti-inflammatory omega 3 acids compared to omega 6 fatty acids, better kinds of fats, more vitamins, higher amounts of linoleic acids, fewer antibiotics and other garbage.
-Carbs: diet too low in carbs can cut testosterone to 36%. Sugars are almost universally bad for the body. No sodas, pastries, bread and even fruits (genetically modified). Yes to cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, etc.) for carbs. Avoid all grains also, even quinoa, oats etc. They cause inflammation and intestinal damage. They act as anti-nutrients, blocking other nutrients to be absorbed properly. Potatoes and rice are ok.
-Drink a lot of pure, clean water, always stay hydrated.
-Cholesterol: doesn’t cause heart disease, it’s a symptom of inflammation and dietary imbalance. C Reactive Protein is more important for heart disease. Cholesterol needs to be managed. HDL vs. LDL, particle size ratio and quality are what’s influencing health. Testosterone and other hormones are made of cholesterol. It is a good thing. Total cholesterol doesn’t matter.
-What to avoid completely: soy (tofu/protein powders), MSG flavoring agent (ramen noodles, spice mixes and sauces), dairy (influences insulin, comes from pregnant unhealthy cows with high estrogen, 80% of external estrogen in our bodies comes from milk products, might be linked to cancer, progesterone is also raised by milk, a little bit of dairy in cheese won’t be too bad, change to almond and coconut milk), flax seeds (decrease test by 10 to 20%), licorice (reduce test by 50% in rats), oils high in polyunsaturated fats (canola or sunflower seed oil), all kinds of mint (23 to 51% decrease in test in rats), trans fats.
-Foods you should eat more of: beef or bone broth, olive oil (but don’t cook it as it can become toxic), coconut oil, parsley, ginger (17% increase of test when used as a supplement), raw cacao, raisins, pomegranates (also the juice), eggs, argan oil (even better than olive oil), avocados, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts (because of selenium they are crucial, can give a significant increase by themselves), garlic, onions, beet juice, mushrooms (especially reishi), oysters, all vegetables.
-Alcohol: negative effect on testosterone through a variety of ways, increases cortisol/estrogen as well.
-Caffeine: increases cortisol and can decrease test in the long term by 14%, on the short term it can boost test. Better to use black tea or yerba mate. It can also disrupt sleep cycles.

2. Exercise

-resistance training is much better than cardio, focus on few repetitions with heavyweights ( 5 to 8 reps of 85% to 90% of max weight), compound full-body exercises are crucial (squads, deadlifts, bench press, Olympic lifts), be wary of injury and use caution + a spotter, use free weights not fixed machines, make sure posture and movements are perfect.
-Watch out for overtraining (decreases test, increases cortisol and inflammation and ruins sleep), recommended 2 to 3 full bodyweight exercise days/week. Use extra rest days if necessary.
-full two minutes rest after each exercise
-cross fit is recommended
-6 35 meter sprints instead of long runs (which might reduce test)
-Sitting too much is bad for our health. A standing desk can definitely help, even if only part-time.

3. Sleep

-Aim for at least 7,5 or 9 hours of sleep (cycles are 1.5 hours), 6 is the minimum
-Sleep consistent, try to go to bed and wake up at regular hours
-Avoid white and blue light the hours before going to sleep, use apps like F.lux. Smart lights are also an option or blue light blocking sunglasses.
-Make sure to get as much sunlight during the day, use sunscreen but don’t use too much or too high a protection factor
-Design a sleep sanctuary, needs to be dark, make sure there is no artificial light either, it should be quiet (if there is noise use white noise to block it out), temperature should be cold (18 degrees Celsius), cold showers are good before sleep to reduce your body temperature.

4. Sex

-Testosterone peaks on the seventh day of abstinence, but long term abstinence can decrease testosterone
-Having regular sexual contact with a partner increases testosterone, even the anticipation boosts testosterone
-Monogamy is not ideal, men in committed relationships have 21% less testosterone than those who do not. Testosterone is lower in men who’ve had a relationship for longer than six months that those who are in the early stages. Testosterone decreases with marriage and stays lower afterward and increases after divorce. Men who cheat and men who are in open relationships have higher testosterone.
-Mere exposure to the opposite sex increases testosterone, even when there is no physical contact.
-Masturbation does not increase testosterone.

5. Lifestyle adjustments

-Stress: meditation to reduce cortisol, increases testosterone and much more.
-Endocrine hijackers: BPA (canned foods, plastics with polycarbonate), Phthalates (plastics, products that enlist flagrance as a component), parabens (household goods), atrazine (buy organic produce and a water filter that specifically filters it). In general check the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to check if products are safe.
-Cold exposure: burns fat and thus can increase testosterone, decreases cortisone and improves sleep. Hot showers and baths are bad for test production most likely.
-Technology: avoid laptop on your lap, cell phone radiation lowers sperm counts. Avoid close contact with the genitals of all forms of technology.
-Body language: high power positions increase testosterone and decrease cortisol, low power positions do the reverse. Do power poses before important moments. Use open body language positions (take up space, expose body parts).

6. Supplements

-Magnesium: 70 to 80% of all people are depleted in western society, magnesium bysglycinate, citrate is ok as well, avoid magnesium oxide or any form ending in –ide. 400-500 mg daily is recommended.
-Fish oil: protects test to bind to SHGB (thus increases free test) and increases LH, look for at least 900 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA
-Creatine monohydrate: increases test significantly among many other benefits
-Vitamin D3
-Ashwagandha: reduces stress and cortisol and slightly increases testosterone

I also did some reading on other studies non-related to the course, some interesting quotes:

“The typical pattern is higher testosterone in men in richer, post-industrialized countries of Europe or North America compared with men living in poorer parts of the world or places where most of the population face higher rates of disease”

"Married participants and those with dependents had lower testosterone than unmarried participants and those without dependents respectively. Sexually active participants had lower testosterone levels than those who were not sexually active."

"Scientists have found that women in less-developed countries are more likely to prefer guys with faces that hint at high levels of testosterone than women in more-developed countries. That may be because women in less-developed societies are more focused on good genes for their offspring, whereas women in more-developed societies with less fear of disease may care more about commitment"

"In the United Kingdom, women liked men with high testosterone most in cases where his face also showed signs of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol (cortisol contributes to a softer, round-faced look). In the less-developed nation of Latvia, women simply preferred higher-testosterone men, with cortisol showing no effect."

"After adjustment for age and Quetelet's index, the levels of total and bioavailable testosterone were highest in Asian-Americans, intermediate in African-Americans, and lowest in whites. However, the DHT: testosterone ratio was highest in African-Americans, intermediate in whites, and lowest in Asian-Americans. Black people had a 15% higher testosterone level and a 13% higher free testosterone level than whites. Japanese men had similar testosterone to US whites but less DHT."

"While total testosterone levels were similar in men from Sweden, Tobago and the US, they were 16 percent higher in men from Hong Kong and Japan. The Japanese men also had higher levels of a testosterone-binding hormone, however, so less of the testosterone was free to act on tissues. As a result, Japanese men had the lowest levels of active testosterone. However, Asian men who had moved to the US had similar testosterone levels to residents of European descent, suggesting that the environment had an influence. Diet could play a role, suggests Cauley."

"Studies show that men’s testosterone levels have been declining for decades. The most prominent, a 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, revealed a “substantial” drop in U.S. men’s testosterone levels since the 1980s, with average levels declining by about 1% per year. This means, for example, that a 60-year-old man in 2004 had testosterone levels 17% lower than those of a 60-year-old in 1987. Another study of Danish men produced similar findings, with double-digit declines among men born in the 1960s compared to those born in the 1920s."
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#2
I have a question. I checked my test and here are the results :

- Total test is way above the norm
- 11.5 ng/mL
- normal range for my age is : [2.5 - 8.5]

- But bioavailable test is just average
- 2.7 ng/mL
- normal range for my age is : [1,00 - 3,70]


How would you interpret that? Does it mean I have average test or above average? I don't do any TRT or anything.
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#3
Quote:-Watch out for overtraining (decreases test, increases cortisol and inflammation and ruins sleep), recommended 2 to 3 full bodyweight exercise days/week. Use extra rest days if necessary.

I don't have time to overtrain but have been in the martial arts community for years. Guys like Mayweather and Buakaw are pulling 3-5 hour training days. 


Quote:-cross fit is recommended

You can get hurt doing crossfit, which is why I never liked it.
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#4
In regards to not injuring yourself during training... I was in very good shape ten years ago, in my mid twenties. I’m still in decent shape due to my work but this spring I decided I was going to get it back. Thought I could hit the weights hard like I’m still in my twenties. A few days later I hurt my shoulder while bench pressing. Six months later and it’s only gotten worse not better. A wise man will heed your advice. Maybe some of you know what I probably did. Torn rotator cuff?
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#5
(01-01-2020, 12:49 AM)Smash Wrote: In regards to not injuring yourself during training... I was in very good shape ten years ago, in my mid twenties. I’m still in decent shape due to my work but this spring I decided I was going to get it back. Thought I could hit the weights hard like I’m still in my twenties. A few days later I hurt my shoulder while bench pressing. Six months later and it’s only gotten worse not better. A wise man will heed your advice. Maybe some of you know what I probably did. Torn rotator cuff?

Could you go into more detail?  Can you pin point the exact moment you hurt it or was it a gradual onset of pain?  And where is the pain in your shoulder exactly?
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#6
I had a sharp stabbing pain in my shoulder when I was pressing up the weight. It’s a stabbing pain, I can feel the spot if I press on my tricep, pressing on the outside of my tricep pushing in towards my shoulder blade. Certain movements really tweak it. Like if I reach behind myself and try to pick up weight or if I’m sitting or laying and I try to prop myself up on my elbow. Both those movements give me a sharp stabbing pain, along with others. Sanding drywall gets me, so that’s reaching out in front of me, pressing on the wall and moving my arm up and down...
funny thing is my buddy who’s ten years older than me just went through shoulder surgery and rehab physiotherapy. A couple weeks before I did this he told me ‘whatever you do, don’t ever blow out your shoulder’. Ha.
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#7
Lots of good stuff in the OP, thanks Rottenapple. Getting enough sleep, not drinking alcohol regularly, and weight training are the big 3 that should be bolded heavily. Everything else is marginal gains compared to the massive positive effects of those three.

Regularly (yearly anyway) having your test levels checked once you hit your late 30s is also very good advice these days thats not mentioned. Even with everything else on point some guys test levels just start dropping rapidly around then. At some stage in their 40s most men should probably start thinking about TRT, depending on their natural level.
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#8
All these lifestyle changes PALE in comparison to TRT.

Even if your trt dose is just taking you into median range, the blood levels fluctuate a lot less than a natural. Have a bad nights sleep, party hard on the weekend,etc..natty levels in the gutter. Not so with trt.

Ive been doing more running/MMA than weightlifting than I was pre trt and I'm still hitting record PRs. Put up 185lbs x 3 military press strict form the other day. And having long arms, Ive always sucked at pressing.

I see why the UFC got rid of the trt exception now. Its just not fair.
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#9
(01-01-2020, 07:49 AM)Smash Wrote: I had a sharp stabbing pain in my shoulder when I was pressing up the weight. It’s a stabbing pain, I can feel the spot if I press on my tricep, pressing on the outside of my tricep pushing in towards my shoulder blade. Certain movements really tweak it. Like if I reach behind myself and try to pick up weight or if I’m sitting or laying and I try to prop myself up on my elbow. Both those movements give me a sharp stabbing pain, along with others. Sanding drywall gets me, so that’s reaching out in front of me, pressing on the wall and moving my arm up and down...
funny thing is my buddy who’s ten years older than me just went through shoulder surgery and rehab physiotherapy. A couple weeks before I did this he told me ‘whatever you do, don’t ever blow out your shoulder’. Ha.

I am not a doctor so take this for what it is...but you should definitely go get it seen about.  I had a similar injury and it ended up being a torn labrum.  Go see an ortho or a sports med clinic that specializes in those types of injuries in athletes.  My first go around (2014) I went to my primary care doctor, who ordered a basic MRI.  The result came back as tendonitis of the rotator cuff, which bothered me on and off for several years.  A year ago I got serious and decided to go see an ortho who worked on the city's NBA team.  His office ordered an MRI with a contrast dye that was injected into my shoulder that basically acts a lightbulb so they can better identify the problem.

He had suspected a torn labrum and it was confirmed via the MRI.  He also said I had most likely had been misdiagnosed several years prior as true tendonitis/overuse injuries are fairly rare in younger adults.

(12-31-2019, 01:28 PM)ChicagoFire Wrote:
Quote:-Watch out for overtraining (decreases test, increases cortisol and inflammation and ruins sleep), recommended 2 to 3 full bodyweight exercise days/week. Use extra rest days if necessary.

I don't have time to overtrain but have been in the martial arts community for years. Guys like Mayweather and Buakaw are pulling 3-5 hour training days. 

Unless you're a professional athlete who trains multiple hours/sessions a day, I wouldn't worry about overtraining.
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#10
(01-01-2020, 04:43 PM)SpecialEd Wrote: All these lifestyle changes PALE in comparison to TRT.

Even if your trt dose is just taking you into median range, the blood levels fluctuate a lot less than a natural. Have a bad nights sleep, party hard on the weekend,etc..natty levels in the gutter. Not so with trt.

And all you have to do is stick a needle filled with expensive drugs into your ass every week for the rest of your life!
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#11
(01-02-2020, 01:31 AM)churros Wrote:
(01-01-2020, 04:43 PM)SpecialEd Wrote: All these lifestyle changes PALE in comparison to TRT.

Even if your trt dose is just taking you into median range, the blood levels fluctuate a lot less than a natural. Have a bad nights sleep, party hard on the weekend,etc..natty levels in the gutter. Not so with trt.

And all you have to do is stick a needle filled with expensive drugs into your ass every week for the rest of your life!

Actually twice a week is recommended.
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#12
Use insulin syringes
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#13
(01-02-2020, 01:31 AM)churros Wrote:
(01-01-2020, 04:43 PM)SpecialEd Wrote: All these lifestyle changes PALE in comparison to TRT.

Even if your trt dose is just taking you into median range, the blood levels fluctuate a lot less than a natural. Have a bad nights sleep, party hard on the weekend,etc..natty levels in the gutter. Not so with trt.

And all you have to do is stick a needle filled with expensive drugs into your ass every week for the rest of your life!

What lol? A 10ml vial of Test cyp (roughly a years supply) cost $45. And nobody I know injects in the ass anymore. Use an insulin pin in the bis/tri/delts. Painless.

2x a week is often recommended but I think its bro science. Test cypionate has a half life of 8 days so there's no way more frequent injections would make a difference.
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#14
Why the fuck are you guys talking about trt on a thread he specifically said was to be separate from the trt thread. Go shoot up in the bathroom and stop telling us about it.
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#15
^Who asked for your opinion? Youre a newb who cant go a few days training without injuring yourself. Your crabbiness indicates low t. A blood test would no doubt show it.

Anyhow, shoulder health is pretty simple.

1. Do warm up sets

2. Pull/row 2x as much as you press

3. Consider dropping the flat bench press entirely. No reason to be doing it if youre not a powerlifter. Military press is a better exercise for strength/atheletics. Incline bench for chest aesthetics.

Ive lifted heavy for 13 years and have never once had a shoulder injury..
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#16
Fuuuuuccckkkk. I wish I knew all that six months ago. I couldve lifted heavy for thirteen years too
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#17
Sassy sarcasm detected.

Time to get your t levels outside of eunuch range lol.
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#18
This thread (my own) is a nice example of why this forum is not yet getting to peak RVF levels. I made a solid opening post giving tons of information and explaining the use of this thread. It is followed by guys going off-topic completely, not adding any useful info, someone asking for a personal consult, etc.

A general tendency I'm seeing on the forum as well. Guys thinking this is a chat room with insults/personal attacks flying around freely, people using the forum only for their own benefit not adding anything themselves (typical for the younger generation or the narcissists), ...

I'll have to start moderating more strictly I guess.
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#19
I've said a lot of this before but I've tried a lot of things and what really seems to work for me:

- High quality sleep in a dark quiet place. I highly recommend blackout curtains, mack's silicone earplugs, and avoiding excessive caffeine or caffeine after the early afternoon.

- Avoid alcohol especially beer or mixing liquor with sugary drinks

- Squats and/or deadlifts at least twice per week. These work much better for me than any other exercise even sprints. I can remote coach rottenapple or any other vetted members in the case that others hate squats or think they will cause injuries. It's all about doing them correctly, fixing imbalances so they can be done correctly, and not going too heavy.

- In regards to "healthy amount of protein and fats", I can't say enough about eating a lot of eggs. They are easy to prepare, inexpensive, lots of protein and fat, etc. Cook them in butter or coconut oil. Buy a big frying pan so you can efficiently prepare a lot of eggs at the same time.

- Also I learned a lot about nutrition from trying Keto & Intermittent Fasting and much of that applies to testosterone levels. Especially being lean. There is a strong relationship between body fat and estrogen so try to stay lean and the best way I know to do that is principles from Keto & Intermittent Fasting and avoiding alcohol such as beer or liquor mixed with sugary drinks
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#20
This is overall a great list — comprehensive, informative but not overwhelming in details.

I'll also echo ChicagoFire's reluctance to endorse CrossFit due to the injury rate. If you're playing the long game, as many of us are, I imagine it's better to prioritize permanence, consistency, and injury avoidance over intensity, especially if you're dialed in everywhere else.

One notable omission from the list is the competition effect: the idea that testosterone will rise if you believe you are winning at something.

I suppose this would fall under your Lifestyle category. You somewhat mentioned it under 'body language', but I don't think what you wrote was specific to this phenomenon.

It may seem simple and cynical, but T levels will increase if you have a domain where you are an authority and/or can demonstrate relative superiority: sports, music, martial arts, rock climbing, dancing, art, public speaking, business, etc... Ideally the area where you are winning is not being offset by increases in cortisol.
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